Facebook's Tracking Of Non-Users Sparks Broader Privacy Concerns

Facebook's Tracking Of Non-Users Sparks Broader Privacy Concerns

Last week, over two days and 10 hours, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, with a dead-pan face, fielded over 600 questions from almost 100 US Congressmen.

The compensation costs include the security provided at Zuckerberg's home and during travel and the expense incurred from his private air travel.

Far from being the mild mannered computer geek he appears at first glance, there are notorious stories of Zuckerberg giving rousing Braveheart-esque speeches to Facebook employees.

Part of the problem, he said, is Zuckerberg was not always forthcoming and part of it was that members only got four minutes to ask their questions. The incident wiped off billions from Zuckerberg's wealth while Facebook's stock prices slumped in a week.

While Zuckerberg's testimony and the privacy issues with Facebook were big news in Washington, some local users of Facebook seemed unconcerned. Hypothetical situations proposed by Congress were shut down by Zuckerberg, stating that there is a "core misunderstanding" of how Facebook works in regard to user information.

When I downloaded a copy of my Facebook data last week, I didn't expect to see much.

Facebook will keep failing users' trust as long as its business is based on the unrestrained grabbing of as much user data as possible, and crafting ever-more innovative ways for advertisers to harness that information for commercial goals.

Beth Gautier, a Facebook spokeswoman, put it this way: "When you delete something, we remove it so it's not visible or accessible on Facebook".

When pressed on what the impact could be for firms using the social media site, Walcott said he saw no reason for companies to shift from Facebook in light of the scandal. It will also require political advertisers to provide additional transparency, as a new weapon in the reported "arms race" Facebook finds itself in with Russian propagandists.

This programme would reward people with first-hand knowledge and proof of cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers people's data to another party to be sold, stolen or used for scams or political influence.

Sadly, when two days of hearings with Zuckerberg - in a suit, not the usual T-shirt - were done, neither we nor Congress knew much more about the social network's failures or efforts to protect our privacy.

Facebook is under fire for a privacy breach affecting more than 87 million users, and regulations affecting all users could be on the way.

That structure could on the one hand end up disadvantaging less affluent users while simultaneously allowing wealthier consumers - the ones advertisers might be most eager to court - to bypass ads altogether. Instead of merely reacting to parents insistence that Facebook change features that affected their children, Facebook should get out front and understand more deeply what concerns the parents. But hey, at least he confirmed that Facebook was not listening on your microphone to target its ads as a consolation prize. We should reflect upon the many viruses created just to harm Microsoft and other software; operating systems are always being hijacked by those whose only objective remains destruction and exploitation. In 2016 in an apparent bid to ensure his privacy he bought the four properties surrounding his Palo Alto home in California and tore them down to later build smaller houses. The Facebook founder is the fifth richest person in the world - an astounding achievement for a 33-year-old (the only other person in the top ten under the age of 60 is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos). Zuckerberg would not admit he feels like a monopoly, but he couldn't name a true competitor. Zuckerberg answered with "Senator, there has not".

"I think there is some cause for concern but rest assured that the USA will not allow Facebook to fail for the simple reason that Facebook is one of their success stories".